Atlantic Canada's organic food industry
Atlantic Canada's rich agricultural land base yields an abundance of fruits, vegetables, field crops and wild food products. Growing conditions such as lower pest pressures and moderate temperatures make the region ideally suited to organic farming. Atlantic Canada's agricultural sector was founded around the traditional values of the family farm that are often associated with organics. Today, the tradition of producing top quality organic products continues in the region.
Sales of organic food products in Canada reached $2 billion in 2008, with this number doubling since 2006. In Atlantic Canada, the number of certified organic farmers has increased by 70% in the last decade and 145 farmers and processors now have certification. This growth is poised to continue as exports of Atlantic Canadian organic crops to US markets has excellent potential, including berries, maple products, soybeans and quality value-added products.
Canada is recognized around the world as a leader in organic and food safety for which standards are regulated by the federal Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The "Canada Organic" logo is the assurance that these standards are met. Through an equivalency arrangement, Canada and the US fully recognize each other's standards, providing for seamless trade. Products covered by this agreement can use both the "Canada Organic" and "USDA organic" seals.
Atlantic Canada is home to the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) and the Canada Research Chair in Organic Agriculture, which provide organic producers with access to cutting edge research and field trials. For detailed market and regulatory information, educational programming and business networking, producers can consult with the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) and the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN), also both located in the region.
For more information on these organizations, visit the following websites:
Organic: An Investment in our Future!
What Atlantic Canada offers
- Geographically close to United States – seamless access to the lucrative US market
- Highly educated workforce – more post-secondary graduates per capita than the Canadian and US averages, and home to 17 universities
- Dedicated workers – among the lowest rates of turnover and absenteeism in North America
- Low business costs – Canada leads the G7 countries in low business costs, with a cost advantage of 5.5 percent over the US
- World-leading R&D commitment – Canada ranks first among the G7 countries for offering the most generous R&D tax incentives
How you benefit
- Improved communication and lower project management costs
- Greater ability to recruit new graduates and retain their services
- Lower turnover rates, which means corporate knowledge doesn't
leave your organization along with staff
- Improved profitability thanks to lower labour costs and
operational cost efficiencies
Greater potential for revenue growth
- Enhanced ability to innovate, be creative, and continuously learn
Opportunity to improve performance and profitability through access to government programs and services geared to the needs of the industry
How we can help you to locate and succeed here
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is the federal government agency responsible for helping to build economic capacity in the Atlantic Provinces. Through a variety of programs and services, ACOA ensures companies locating in Atlantic Canada have access to a range of practical support to help them successfully develop their businesses.
For more information, contact:
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
P.O. Box 6051, 644 Main Street
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C 9J8 Canada
Toll-free: 1-800-561-7862 (Canada and US)
Catalogue number: AC5-5/2010E ISBN: 978-1-100-17031-2 ACOA : 2010-10
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